Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

M. Gandhi


Message from Doctoral Program Director


We welcome all interested applicants to our website. Please familiarize yourself with our program, its focus, length, course work structure, as well as the entire doctoral journey at the University of North Florida. If you are looking for a rich, educationally challenging, and supportive environment for your doctoral studies, we invite you to consider applying to our Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. We provide an interdisciplinary approach to leadership, drawing from a number of disciplines and fields of study.  The program has a Cohort Model. Members of the Cohort serve as a learning community providing mutual support to each other. Courses are taken together in a cohort for three years. Following that, students take the comprehensive examinations in the fall of their fourth year and then continue their preparation towards pre-proposal, proposal, and final dissertation writing.  Cohorts are denoted by a number which indicates the year of admission. Fall of 2015 ushers in our Silver Jubilee Cohort 25, which is indicative of how long the program has been in existence, producing transformative leaders. Our graduates are found in a wide spectrum of occupations, which include: administrators in K-12, faculty in higher institutions of learning, administrators in higher institutions of learning, educators, educational consultants, administrators in health institutions, administrators in State agencies, community leaders, and leaders of non-profit organizations.



Program Description


The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)  program at the University of North Florida provides candidates with a deep understanding of educational leadership through four curriculum strands—leadership, research, foundations, and a cognate.  The program prepares candidates with theory, opportunities for practice, and analytical tools necessary to develop individuals and organizations to function effectively in our constantly changing global society.  Scholarship and research are encouraged and nurtured with the goal of improving students’ ability to make data-driven decisions that enhance and nurture organizational learning.  The program uses a cohort model that provides students opportunities to study and learn within active learning communities.  Through engaged reflective praxis and interaction with faculty and cohort members, students deepen their understanding of themselves as advocates who effectively influence substantive change within organizations and communities.  The program also strives to develop creative, ethical, humane, flexible, and visionary leaders, who critically analyze problems, comprehend the inherent complexities of organizational systems, and apply relevant research to examine and frame responses appropriate for different contexts, challenges, and issues. 



The doctoral program reflects the following convictions about effective leadership in educational organizations:

  • Leaders must be able to articulate a vision of where their organization is going, and a plan for getting there.
  • Leaders must understand how to influence change by taking risks themselves, and by encouraging people to challenge their own models about how things work.
  • Leaders work effectively within existing organizations and communities while they seek to improve them.
  • Leaders foster human development and value and protect differing interests.
  • Leaders value learning, for themselves and for all other members of the organization.
  • Leaders foster communication, collaboration, and community building.

In addition, we affirm these five tenets of the IMPACT statement below:


IMPACT Statement

UNF professional education programs prepare candidates who are:


Multiculturally proficient. They understand, respect, and value differences in individuals and model best practices for designing and delivering instructional programs to fit the needs of diverse learners.


Professionally aware. They hold to high ethical standards, professional dispositions, and a code of professional conduct worthy of the education profession. They value fairness and believe that all students can and should learn.


Analytically adept. They engage in reflective thinking about classroom practice and contexts; assess and analyze a variety of data from those contexts; use reflective practice to make appropriate adjustments to curriculum and instruction; and make data-informed instructional decisions to benefit the learning of all students.


Competently prepared. They possess and demonstrate the content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, and pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills necessary to help all students learn.


Technologically capable. They use technology effectively to facilitate design of instruction, engage students in the learning process, and communicate with colleagues, parents, and other key stakeholders.




The mission of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at the College of Education and Human Services at the University of North Florida is to provide unique learning opportunities for experienced educators who aspire to be leaders in their chosen clinical and administrative settings. The curriculum and learning experiences are grounded in the knowledge base of  leadership theories and research. We are guided by the following tenets:


  • Leaders work effectively within existing organization structures while seeking to improve them.
  • Leaders foster human development.
  • Leaders value and protect different interests.
  • Leaders develop and convey a vision.
  • Leaders value learning for themselves and all other members of the organization.
  • Leaders model what they expect of others.